Before Erasers, Bread Was Used To Erase Pencil Marks

Erasers as we know them today are a relatively modern invention, but erasers as a general category are age-old. The ancient Greeks and Romans relied on smooth wax tablets to ensure erasability. Eventually, those gave way to White-Out and Photoshop’s “magic eraser” tool, and, of course, the ultimate undoer of deeds: the delete key. The original erasers were something a little bit more unusual, at least by today’s standards. Until the 1770s, the preferred way of erasing mistakes was to use bread that had been de-crusted, moistened and balled up. While they were plentiful and cheap, they had a distinct advantage — they were susceptible to mold and rot. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that erases made of rubber came on the scene. Now, even in the age of technology, there’s actually an electric eraser. They’re most commonly used by engineers and drafters because they allow you to erase more accurately and erase single lines that are drawn close to one another.